“Vanity Fair” And Constantine Maroulis Engage In A Canonical Cage Match

noah | October 15, 2008 4:00 am

Vanity Fair is celebrating its 25th anniversary at present, and as is custom in 2008, they’ve decided to honor their legacy by foisting a bunch of arbitrary “best of” lists onto the public. Instead of the Top 25 Songs Listing Reasons That Graydon Carter Is The Most Important Man In New York, VF throws a curveball and brings us 25 “best” songs hand-picked by the magazine’s editors. Said songs are supposedly the defining tracks of… well, of the Vanity Fair demographic, who must only consume culture that was made between the Berlin Olympics and the introduction of the compact disc. The most recent entry, sole song from the ’80s, and lone hip-hop candidate is Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” (1982); Elvises Costello and Presley are represented, as are the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Stones, and Sinatra. (Not even VF fave Madonna made it in there.) Pretty much if you thought about any song you’d ever heard in a commercial for airlines, baby-boomer retirement plans, or expensive cars, you could cobble together the list, or an approximation of it.

Earlier today I was going to post a link to the VF list with a snide link along the lines of “The One Worst List Of Best Songs Ever,” but then fate and/or Axl Rose intervened. But I was reminded of it just now while perusing the set list for Rock Of Ages, the butt-rock jukebox musical starring known chest-hair blowdrier and former American Idol hopeful Constantine Maroulis. It has “The Final Countdown” and “Oh Sherrie” and “More Than Words”; it is pretty much the exact antithesis of the VF list, blatantly honest as opposed to the cocktail-party equivocating of “good” that no doubt went on at 4 Times Square in the runup to this issue. Am I being too hard on poor old Graydon? I leave it to you, the reader, to decide.

As Idolator guest Eric Harvey pointed out, “the first one is all ‘nothing’s good after 1982’ and the second one is “nothing’s good except 1982,’ ” so I guess your vote depends on which side of that particular debate you’re on. Guess what I voted for?

25 Best Songs [Vanity Fair] Set List [Rock Of Ages Off Broadway] Oh Sherrie [YouTube]